Thursday, July 7, 2011

What's in a name?

Some of you have asked how we came up with the names Talitha Nicole, Wesley Samuel James, and LilliAnne Joy. Well, now you'll know.

Talitha was the name of a very special girl whose father Laura Jane looked up to. Talitha was their first born. They wrote letters back and forth, and Laura Jane was able to see the heart of gold she had as well as her faith in God. Talitha's family was called to the missionfield when she was a teenager. Unfortunately, she came down with cerebral malaria and passed on to be with her heavenly Father. In her short life she left a wonderful legacy for our Talitha to follow. We hope and pray that our Talitha is blessed with that same heart for others.

The name Talitha is actually an Aramaic word for little girl. In Mark 5:41, Jesus raised the little girl from the dead by saying "Talitha koum".

In choosing a middle name for Talitha, we asked her namesake's family for an idea. In so doing, we came upon Nicole, which means "Victorious People". We really liked that. We also found out at the same time that Talitha went by Niki in Africa because the people had a hard time saying "Talitha". So not only were we victorious over infertility, we were able to honor, doubly, a wonderful girl.

Wesley has always been a boy's name we have liked since we started talking kids nine-plus years ago. On a side note, we thought about naming Talitha "Buttercup" like the Princess Bride (if you don't know, her true love was named Wesley). That thought only lasted about 30 seconds.

The name Wesley really doesn't have an historical meaning other than being linked to the founders of the Methodist church, John and Charles Wesley, English preachers in the 1700's.

The book of 1 Samuel begins with the story a barren woman named Hannah who prayed to God to heal her womb. In exchange for a child, she promised to give him back to God for His work. The name Samuel means "God has heard". Boy do we resonate with this story. We'd have chosen Samuel as a first name, but know too many Sam's, Sammy's, and Samantha's.

James is Laura Jane's step-dad's first name. We chose to honor the legacy he left in her life by adding his name to Wesley's. James is also a hero of the New Testament. He was a "don't mince words" kind of guy who spoke the truth (read the book of James in the Bible).

LilliAnne is a combination of two of Laura Jane's favorite names "Lilly" and "Anne". A Lily is a flower that symbolizes innocence and purity. Anne means grace or favor. It's also the name of Laura Jane's favorite movie character, "Anne of Green Gables." LilliAnne was an answer to our prayer for a child. In her life, God granted us a beautiful and pure favor.

Joy, LilliAnne's middle name, describes the feeling that we both felt when we found out she was going to be ours. In fact, Laura Jane says her heart lept inside when she heard about her.

And now you know, a little bit about why we feel so blessed to have 3 wonderful gifts.

By the way, unless these two fail their car seat test, they are coming home tomorrow (Friday)!


  1. You might have been especially disappointed to learn that Buttercup's "Wesley" is actually Westley.

    Thanks for these cool stories; I'm glad to know the root of their meaning.

  2. Wow, that is amazing and thrilling to have them home. Thank you so for your sharing regarding the names you have given your children. What a beautiful legacy you have given them, and it will be exciting to see how the Lord unfolds their lives. Blessings and looking forward to hearing more about all your lives together.